The view shown above, painted by William Turner of Oxford in the 19th century, shows Oxford from Hinksey hill. This painting is now kept in the Town Hall in Oxford. The view has been protected in the past by the efforts of the City Councillors, Oxford Preservation Trust, and others. It is now threatened with desecration by Railtrack. The whole area, with its majestic trees, its waterways and its mixture of country and city is integral to Oxford's landscape of dreaming spires.
The quarry and its excavator are visible from the surrounding hillsides, from the local park, and from the Nursery School and nearby houses. Tourists walking the Matthew Arnold path are unable to avoid it. From the tower of St. Mary The Virgin it will stand out in the landscape in the winter months and at times it will probably be audible. The environmental impact on the immediate surrounding area will be disastrous. It will probably destroy the surrounding lakes and make the adjacent park unusable. It will make life intolerable for most residents of South Oxford.
If we lived in Paris or Florence or Pisa there would be an international outcry at this developmentand the damage it is likely to cause. Why should Oxford's wonderful heritage be destroyed because Railtrack happen to own a few acres of Green Belt land close to the heart of the city?